The United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was published today. I obviously haven’t read it — it’s long — but there’s plenty of press coverage (though some of it is rather buried in U.S. papers). There’s a nice summary on the MEA site, and you can dowload a full copy of the report there too (if you register). Here’s the basic take-home message:

A landmark study released today reveals that approximately 60 percent of the ecosystem services that support life on Earth – such as fresh water, capture fisheries, air and water regulation, and the regulation of regional climate, natural hazards and pests – are being degraded or used unsustainably. Scientists warn that the harmful consequences of this degradation could grow significantly worse in the next 50 years.

I’m sure there will be much more to say, and much more said, about this in coming days.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.